OSHA publishes recommended practices to promote workplace whistleblower anti-retaliation programs

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By Joy Waltemath

OSHA has issued recommended practices aimed at helping employers to create and maintain workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation. The recommendations apply to all public- and private-sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.

The document sets forth recommendations that are adaptable to most workplaces, according to OSHA. Employers may adjust the recommendations for variables such as number of employees, the makeup of the workforce, and the type of work performed. The concepts can be used to create a new program or enhance an existing one.

Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs outlines five key elements of an effective anti-retaliation program:

Management leadership, commitment, and accountability
System for listening to and resolving employees’ safety and compliance concerns
System for receiving and responding to reports of retaliation
Anti-retaliation training for employees and managers
Program oversight

The final document incorporates many of the comments received in response to the initial draft that was posted in Fall 2016.

OSHA noted that the recommendations are merely advisory and do not interpret or create any legal obligations, or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.

“These recommended practices will provide companies with the tools to create a robust anti-retaliation program,” explained Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In the long run, it’s good for workers and good for business.”

Source:: Employment Law Daily Newsfeed

      

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